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This league represents the evolution of programming from BreatheINK. Created in 2013 at the request from students who witnessed the adult poetry scene and wanted one of their own, BreatheINK has worked as a community partner organization with Blumenthal Performing Arts and has established a cohort of young artists in the Charlotte,NC area. BreatheINK focuses on creating safe spaces where teen poets can express themselves, tell their stories, and support one another's creativity. BreatheINK is an organization for young artists only! Adults are allowed to support but never perform.

Since 2013, young writers and performers in our area have participated in workshops and residencies, performed and organized open mics and poetry slams in their schools and communities, and represented Charlotte, NC at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival each year. 

Today, with help from Arts and Science Council and Blumenthal Performing Arts, we are proud to introduce the Charlotte Poetry Slam League. It is comprised of slam poetry teams from six local high schools. Teams of 4-6 students and a coach (or two) compete against each other over a regular season schedule, culminating at the CPSL Championship in late April.

Our league is truly unique in its format and structure. In fact, we are so proud of our differences that we will now list a few of them for everyone to gaze upon in awe and copy for future leagues:

  • Regular season bouts are held at a different school in the league each week of the regular season on Tuesday afternoons. 

  • Judges are provided by a team not participating in that weeks bout, eliminating home field advantage.

  • TEACHERS GET PAID!!! We do not require payment to participate in CPSL. In fact, to show our coaches how much we appreciate them each one receives a stipend at the end of the season. Sports coaches get paid, so why not poetry coaches?

  • CPSL provides teams with workshops, video resources, marketing materials, common core standards, shirts, and on-call teaching artists.


 . . . and so much more! (You didn't think we were going to give away all of our secrets did you?)

Welcome to Year One of the Charlotte Poetry Slam League!

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